25 weeks old today | 6 month routine

My beautiful Twinkles — where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that we were being taken down to the delivery suite, to welcome you to the world and now you are very nearly 6 months old! Half a year has almost passed!! I know they say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ but this is ridiculous! I feel as though my life is suddenly on fast forward!

So much has been happening…I —finally!—changed the routine again and got rid of the 4 o’clock feed! We’ve been doing the new routine for about 4 weeks now. They took to it really quickly and are happy with their ‘6 month routine’ schedule :)

The new timings are:

The Twinkles 6 Month Routine

7am — wake and feed

8.30am — back to bed

10am — wake

11.00am — feed

12.00am — back to bed

2.00pm — wake

2.30pm — feed

4pm — back to bed

5pm — wake (play or a bath a couple of times a week)

6.00pm — feed

7pm — bed

Until 10.30 for the last feed….

I’m annoyed with myself that I tried to change their routine on the advice of a book/health visitor/website, when the babies — or I — weren’t ready. Ultimately, I guess you’ve got to try things out to find out whether they’ll work, or not, but my gut feeling was that it was too early when I tried to change it before.

I think the moral of that story is to always go with your instinct.

Books etc are helpful, but I think we sometimes forget that babies do not go by the book. They are individual little humans and one size does not fit all in a lot of cases! Also, there’s a lot to be said for maternal instinct. I now feel confident enough to listen to my gut feeling — initially I was convinced that the books/health visitors/websites knew best, but now I’m pretty sure that I know what’s best for them :)

The one thing I’ve noticed more and more though is that they are less and less accommodating about going for a nap during the day! Half of me thinks that they don’t need it but the other half knows that they do need their daytime sleep and on the odd occasion that they’ve missed out on it, they have not coped well at all. I would rather deal with a baby who is protesting about going to sleep — for all of 10 minutes — than deal with one who is massively overtired.

Over-tiredness is one of the causes for the Twinkles to have a major meltdown! If we happen to miss the slot to get them to bed — at the right time — there is hell to pay!!! It’s so difficult trying to explain to a 5 month old baby that the only way they will feel better is to let go and fall asleep…

When they are overtired, they just can’t seem to switch off and are often so overstimulated they find it impossible to just close their eyes and nod off. They fight it, and get crosser and more agitated until the crying reaches fever pitch and they go to sleep. Not a great way to get them to go for a nap! Much better to catch it before this point and put them down as soon as you see the first signs of tiredness.

The Twinkles are hilarious — it’s as though they’ve both read a book of sleep signals. They rub their eyes in a cartoon-like fashion and start yawning in an exaggerated fashion! We don’t let them get past the second yawn either. As soon as we see these signs, we whisk them off to their cots. Since they were born, we’ve never waited for them to be ‘almost asleep’ to put them down for a nap. We put them down when they are still wide awake and they settle themselves… no rocking, no singing, no cuddling. Might seem a bit harsh but, much as I love them, I do not want to be rocking them to sleep every time they go for a nap!

It works for us anyway and that’s all that matters :)

I think I am going to start them on some solid food in the next week or so.

They’ve been very interested in watching us eat for the last couple of weeks and I remember a health visitor saying that we could begin to start weaning when this happened. Part of me feels a little nervous. The milk is so easy!!! No thought required there at all!! Weaning involves activating my brain and trying to get out of this baby induced fug that I’ve been in for the last year! People aren’t joking when they use the term ‘baby brain’!! It started when I was about 5 months pregnant and is still hampering my head even now! I have forgotten half of the vocabulary that I’ve learnt over the years!! My head often feels as though it’s full of porridge.

Which is what I’ll give to the babies when we start weaning! Baby rice or porridge. Think that will be a good introduction to solid food!

Until next time x

The Twinkles getting into the swing of their 6 month routine!

6 month routine

 

Mami2Five

19 weeks and 6 days | Dear Zoo

The Twinkles are growing SO quickly — my baby boys are absolutely blooming!

Looking at them now, you’d never know how little they were when they were born.

At one point, Bertie went down to 4lb 9oz. We so nearly had to back to the hospital for him to be tube fed; we were literally one feed away from it.

As a new parent, you know that you need to feed your baby regularly and everyone tells you this, but what people don’t tell you is just how hard it can be to feed a new baby. Especially one that it underweight… Bertie’s blood sugar levels would drop and he’d be so lethargic, it would be almost impossible to wake him up to feed. Catch 22, because the less he ate, the lower his blood sugar dropped and the more sleepy be became. So awful to see our little newborn all limp and floppy. A tiny little human without enough energy to eat. We tried all the tricks in the book… tapping on their feet, tickling their cheeks, even resorted to taking their clothes off and standing in the cold conservatory. Amazing to remember this after I’ve just fed him and watched him gobble down the last bottle!

At the last weigh-in — 3 weeks ago — Cosmo weighed 12lb 7.5oz and Bert was 12lb 2.5oz. That 5oz gap still between them, even though Bertie often eats more than his brother. They are so beautiful, I still can’t quite believe they’re here.

This week, Cosmo’s new thing is his tongue.

Since Saturday he has realised that his tongue is attached to him and at every opportune moment, pops it out to show you! So sweet. Very charming to see these tiny milestones as they happen. Such an inconsequential thing — being able to stick your tongue out — but for a baby this is a new and exciting development! It’s hilarious to watch him!!

Bertie’s favourite thing is his books. We have one called ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell; such a simple story but he LOVES it. This is, by far, the favourite of the moment… not just this week, but for the last 5 at least! I’ve been looking online and you can get Dear Zoo toys, Dear Zoo printables, Dear Zoo activities. Look’s like this is a favourite book for lots of little children, not just my two!

I have been reading to them since they were 12 weeks old. I sit them together on my lap and have the book in front, so they can see the words and the pictures on the pages, then tell them the stories… this is something that I have looked forward to for such a long time!

Reading stories to my own children is priceless.

Dear Zoo…

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10 weeks and 6 days | A routine for newborn twins

Tomorrow my boys will be 11 weeks old!

Time has absolutely flown… I can’t believe how much they’ve grown and how things are changing, literally, day by day. I’m so grateful to the midwife who stressed the importance of a routine for newborn twins. I don’t know where I’d have been without it, if I’m honest.

3 weeks ago, they were waking once in the night to feed — for the last week and a half, they have slept through the night, from 11.45pm to 7am!! Amazing how fast they develop.

I have tweaked the timings a little since.

We were initially feeding every 3 hours; I was doing 6, 9, 12, 3 etc etc, until they were in a good routine and their weight was going up. Then we altered it about 4/5 weeks ago to 7am, 10, 1, 4, 7 with the last feed at 11pm, a 3am (ish) feed, then up at 7 to start all over again.

We missed the 3am alarm a few times a couple of weeks ago and they slept through until 5, but that’s a godawful time to get up in the morning (at least you can catch some zzz if you’re up at 3am!). Once you’ve finished a 5am feed there’s almost no point going back to bed!!

So I adjusted it slightly and we’re now doing an extra half feed at 10pm, letting them stay awake afterwards — instead of putting them in their baskets — and doing their usual big feed at 11pm. By the time they’ve finished the last feed they’re full and tired and are managing to go through til 7am. And most days, I am having to actually wake them! Clever babies :)

I’m under no illusions that this new routine won’t last — when they start teething, or if they are poorly, I’m sure we’ll be woken again during the night — but for now, we are really enjoying the extra sleep and are making the most of it while it lasts.

They’re really settled most of the time – amazingly contented – I feel so lucky. Having said that, I think that the routine they’re in has contributed to that – they get lots of regular food and sleep and are pretty happy as a result!

Got to go… feeding time x

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a routine for newborn twins
A routine for newborn twins

My twin pregnancy — 33 weeks pregnant with twins

Dear Twinkles,

It’s been ages since I last wrote my diary blog!! Three weeks since my last post — I am slacking!!

There’s such a lot going on though, to be fair. I am desperately trying to get my work tied up before you come along. My maternity leave is getting shorter by the day! At the start of every working week, I tell myself it’s going to be the last one before you arrive, but every Friday I seem to have more orders and my ‘to do’ list seems to have grown! This is the downside of running your own business; I suspect  that if I worked for someone else, I’d be lying on the sofa now watching re-runs of ‘The Good Life’ or similar! ;)

Hurrah — I’m now 33 weeks pregnant with twins!

Asides from my to do list, another thing growing is my ENORMOUS belly! We had the 32 week scan last Monday and you are both —apparently— 4lbs each!! Not sure how scientific this ultrasound measuring malarkey is. I keep getting told by various people that it can be out by a couple of lb… which could mean that you’re only a very tiny 2lb each or a WHOPPING 6lb!!!

As the babies are still breech and transverse, I have now been booked in for a caesarian so we finally have a proper due date. I am a little sad that I’m not going to get the chance to go into labour and try and birth our babies myself without medical intervention, but que sera…

Ultimately I want them to be safe and, to be honest, so many ‘natural’ births can end with medical intervention anyway — be it forceps, ventouse, epidural, episiotomy — and that’s just for a single baby! As my consultant said last week, if both babies had been head down from the start, or at least for a few weeks, she would have let  me try naturally, but the fact they’ve both been transverse since the beginning and now Twin A has turned breech, it makes sense to get them out the safest way. And that, sadly, involves cutting me open. I hope it will be OK. I am more scared of the recovery than the operation, but that might change as the date gets closer!! The date for the c-section is 22nd March.

4 weeks today.

My feet have started swelling up this week. I think that it’s down to the fact that I haven’t been drinking enough water, so today I am mindful of this and am on my 3rd pint!!

Looking forward to Monday’s scan!! I wonder how much weight these Twinkles will have put on!!

Til next time

XXX

Me at 3 weeks pregnant with twins!

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My twin pregnancy — 28 weeks pregnant with twins

I’m now 28 weeks pregnant with twins! And yesterday we had the 28 week scan. What a great day!

Such a milestone as it now means that these precious babies have a 90% chance of survival, if they were born! I was holding my breath when the sonographer started the scan… as I haven’t felt the regular movement that I’ve been used to, I was a little anxious about what to expect, but they they were!! Limbs wrapped around each other and little hearts beating like a train :) Just lovely.

You’d think that as the babies grew and got older, the ultrasound scans would be clearer but, in actual fact, with multiples it makes things even harder! There is so little room and as they’re growing bigger and bigger, all that you can see is a tangle of limbs. Not even sure what belonged to which baby, but still a lovely sight all the same!

They are now 2lb 7oz and 2lb 8oz, so they’re growing beautifully. I have put on about 2 and a half stone, so I am clearly growing beautifully too!! I love my bump… I shall be sad when it’s gone.

I waited for so long to ‘look’ pregnant and now I do, it’s the best feeling in the world! I love the way that people stop to talk to you about your pregnancy and ask when the baby is due.  And I love, even more, telling them that it’s not one baby, but two!! That starts a whole new line of enquiry and people are fascinated with the differences between a singleton or multiple pregnancy. I can’t comment on that though. Sadly my singleton pregnancies never lasted long enough for me to experience the gorgeous feelings that I am experiencing now.

According to the pregnancy email I received yesterday,  the babies can now open and close their eyes and they have eyelashes too!! The other thing it mentioned was that the babies are now the size of a Chinese Cabbage…

hmmm….

I don’t know what a Chinese Cabbage looks like, but also I can’t help thinking that that is a ridiculous reference point. What size of Chinese Cabbage?? Small, medium or large? Or are all Chinese Cabbages genetically modified so they’re exactly the same size?? Whatever. I like to think of the babies as babies, not cabbages — Chinese or otherwise!

The other brilliant thing that happened this week was that we had a 4D scan.

The 4D scan

It was extraordinary. When the sonographer flicked from 2D to 4D, all of a sudden the Twin A came in to full view and we saw the most beautiful little face. Perfect pouty lips and a button nose.

Sadly, Twin B was too shy to perform for the cameras :(

This little one faced my spine the whole time and, even with much poking and prodding from both me and the sonographer, and lots of jumping up and down and acrobatics from me, would not turn around. I am a little gutted, to tell the truth. I haven’t seen this baby’s face properly at any of the scans.

The 24 week scan showed Twin A’s profile — which was absolutely beautiful — but my darling Twin B was facing the camera full on, which for the 4D scan would have been absolutely amazing, but for a 2D scan shows no detail really. It just looked like a funny little alien, smiling back at us!

If Twin B had of been in the same position last Saturday, for the 4D scan, we would have —finally!— seen this elusive little Womble!! I guess I’m just going to have to wait until he/she is ready to join me and their Daddy when we welcome the babies to the world!

Not long to go now.

10 weeks more and I will see for myself :)

Holding thumbs that they don’t decide to make an early appearance! I want to keep them safe and sound in my beautiful bump for just a bit longer… 9 and a half weeks would do it!

Until next time.

XXX

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My twin pregnancy — 27 weeks pregnant with twins

Dear Twinkles,

Where, oh where has the time gone??? I’m 27 weeks pregnant with twins; and you are officially ‘viable’!!

Wooo-hoooo!!!

I have been desperate to get to the point of viability. The doctors use that term as though it were some magic charm. And I suppose it is. It means that if you were to be born early it would mean that there would now be a good chance of survival. And that has got to be the most magical thing you can hear when you’re expecting a baby. Especially ones that are so longed for.

I’m feel really cross with myself, not to have posted over the last few weeks. Although the lead up to Christmas is always a hectic one and this year was no exception. Such a lot going on that by the time I thought about writing my diary, it was always last thing at night before I was about to drop off!

It’s a brand new year — we are now a week into it and it’s been pretty eventful so far!

One born every minute…

Last Saturday was spent at the hospital, because I hadn’t felt as much movement as I had done previously. If this happens, they advise you to come in and be monitored. Well, we went in and had to wait over 2 hours to be seen. Hmmmm. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again, because the wait was sooooo painfully long, and boring, it would put me off going again.

The other thing about it, that was quite off-putting, was the fact that we were in the labour ward waiting room with — yes, you’ve guessed it — labouring women!!! Thank goodness for ‘One Born Every Minute’. If I hadn’t already been privy to this, via the power of television, I think I would have freaked out and left! It’s one thing to see women giving birth on the TV, but to hear them with your very own ears is something else entirely!! Animalistic noises that were otherworldly… coming from these poor women who were in the most unimaginable pain. But hey! At least it prepared me for what is to come!! Gulp. :)

We’ve got the 28 week scan next Monday. I’m so looking forward to seeing you again and finding out how much you’ve grown. Fingers crossed you’ve both been packing the weight on and are now well over 2lb each. I am praying that your growth is equal and the doctors say that you both look healthy.

I know that my little Twin B hasn’t got as much room as his/her sibling. The poor little mite has its legs all squashed up underneath my ribs and there’s not a great deal of room to manoeuvre. I’m hoping that this doesn’t affect his/her growth… you know, a bit like goldfish. Apparently they only grow to the size of the tank they’re in. It would be awful to think that the same happened with babies!!

I love you Twinkles. See you on TV next Monday XXX

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